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Exposing the Dark Side of the Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp

October 08, 2005 |   By Liu Guifu's family

(Clearwisdom.net) We are the family of Falun Dafa practitioner Ms. Liu Guifu. We are writing this appeal letter in a state of grave concern because we cannot accept that Liu Guifu is at this moment being tormented in a Chinese government facility because of her firm belief in Falun Gong and her unwillingness to be "transformed" and thereby manipulated to deceive other people.

At around 6:00 p.m. on February 28, 2005, police officer Wang Haipeng from the Qinglongqiao Police Station led six people from the Haidian Police Sub-Bureau and broke into our home. They searched the place and took Liu Guifu away. During the entire incident, they didn't show any identification or gave us a reason for arresting her. After not hearing any news about Liu Guifu for several months, we suddenly received notification that she had been sentenced to two and a half years in a forced labor camp. She is currently incarcerated at the Tiantanghe Women's Forced Labor Camp. This is the fifth time the 50-year-old mother has been arrested for her belief.

Influenced by many years of Communist Party culture, we used to think that many aspects of life were not so bad in China. But after what we have seen and heard, we no longer have such naïve ideas. Even so, we could not imagine law-enforcement officers breaking the law, trampling on basic human rights, and enforcing the brutal persecution against our own family. Specifically, the conduct of the police and prison authorities included the following:

1. The police from the Qinglongqiao Police Station did not show any identification or give any reason for the illegal search.

2. Xin'an Women's Labor Camp used various excuses to keep our family from visiting Liu, including not notifying the family and delaying or obstructing our visits. From February when Liu was taken away to August, only one visit was allowed. From May until August, we contacted the labor camp and repeatedly requested to visit Liu. But prison guard Song Lili, the captain of the brigade to which Liu was assigned, would not allow any visits, mail, or telephone contact with Liu. When we tried to call Song, she refused to answer the phone. Since the beginning of August, the family has requested to see Liu multiple times, but Song always finds excuses to prevent the visit, claiming that Liu's situation is special.

3. Song used lies to turn away family visits and kept the family from knowing Liu's real condition. When asked about Liu's physical condition, Song said, "She is fine except she is very stubborn and refuses to be transformed. Do not believe the information from the Web." (Websites overseas have been reporting the persecution Liu was suffering at Beijing's Women's Labor Camp.)

Around 2:30 p.m. on August 16, we were finally was able to see her. Liu was as thin as a stick, and we could hardly recognize her. She used to weight around 154 pounds and now she looked less than 110 pounds. Her hair had turned gray. She moved slowly, as if she had aged over twenty years since her arrest. It was not hard to imagine what kind of inhumane treatment she had suffered. Liu's husband Liu Baoguo asked the prison guard how she had become so skinny. The guard told him that she was under pressure and could not eat well.

4. Liu was tortured with the following methods: (1) Sleep deprivation. (2) Forced to sit or stand in one position for over 20 hours. (3) Forced to take unknown medications. (4) Being viciously beaten and made to suffer mental torture.

Liu's husband accidentally found a brownish bruise on her right arm. On the inside of her right arm, there were also several bruises. Liu's husband kept asking her what had happened. At first, Liu was afraid to tell him because the guards were threatening her, and later she reluctantly said she was beaten. Prison guard Song Lili pretended ignorance, "Who beat you? How come I don't know about it?" Liu said several inmates including one called Zhou Hong stuffed her mouth with a cleaning rag and beat her. Another guard sitting next to her immediately stopped Liu from continuing and yelled at her, "What did we say just now? Why bring up old stuff?"

Liu's husband asked her, "What happened to you in the last three or four months? How come you are so thin?" Liu said, "I was not allowed to sleep. Everyday I was forced to stand. At first, I could rest between midnight and 4 o'clock in the morning. Later I could only rest between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. I was forced to take a kind of medicine in a capsule. I would vomit after I took it."

Liu's husband repeatedly asked guard Song Lili, "She is not sick. What kind of medicine did you give her?" Song replied, "It is not poison. It is for adjusting the nervous system. It helps her to sleep better." Liu's husband told her, "You are a police officer. You are supposed to protect people. How can you treat others like this?" Song kept saying it was not poison. But they kept a person from sleeping, then gave the person medicine to help her to sleep. What kind of logic was that?

Under Liu's husband's repeat questioning, Liu told him that she was forced to sit on a stool for a month. The flesh on her buttocks festered and had formed a scab.

During the twenty-minute visit, whenever Liu started to talk about the persecution she suffered, Song would stop her. As a result, Liu talked to her family for less than ten minutes.

5. Liu was threatened to not disclose the facts of her torture. We found out that before our visit, the police threatened Liu not to tell us the facts. They coerced her to agree not to reveal the facts of her persecution. We are now worried that the police may retaliate because Liu has revealed the facts.

6. The police attempted to provoke family friction by having a family member apply pressure on Liu. Police Song Lili told Liu's husband, "You cannot just visit. You need to apply some pressure on her. Tell her that you will divorce her if she refuses to transform." Song also asked Liu's husband if Liu had any weakness. Such despicable acts from the police!

As Liu's family, we cannot help but worry about her situation and fear the worst. This is the second time Liu has been tortured in this labor camp. From the outside, this labor camp looks like a modern garden, but who really knows what happens inside? Let us look at the experience Liu had the first time she was incarcerated there.

According to Liu Guifu, she was once forced to stand for 18 days and night straight without sleep. Her ankles swelled as big as her thighs. She used to wear shoe size 23.5, but at the end, she could not even wear size 40. When she tried to put her shoes on, the skin on her feet burst open and blood began to ooze out. During the 18 days she was forced to stand, she was so tired that she fell to the ground. Her face was covered with blood, but she could not wake up. So the police poured buckets of cold water on her. The police captain believed that Liu could only last so long without giving up because someone was helping her. So the police moved her to the police office and had her stand there for another six days and nights. She was not allowed to squat down even when eating her meals. Later, when the police saw that Liu still refused to transform, they forced her to squat down with her arms extended backward. She was forced to hold this position for the whole night. Another time, Liu was beaten so badly that she could not stand up straight. She had to crawl to the bathroom. Every time the police beat her, they would take her outside where nobody could see or hear her. The police would use electric batons to shock her or beat her themselves.

From the experience of our own family, it is clear that no law is being followed when it comes to persecuting Falun Gong. We cannot find any place to appeal for Liu. We can only believe there are still some people in the government who care for the people and are willing to put justice and morality ahead of everything else. We ask them to help our family and stop the labor camp from breaking the law and deceiving the families of the practitioners.

Liu's daughter, Meng Xiangji, is a student at Purdue University in the U.S. She has written articles in an effort to rescue her mother. Those articles have been published in several large Chinese media overseas and have drawn attention from the international community.

In this appeal, we make the following requests:

Investigate the details of torture Liu has suffered at the labor camp. Bring criminal charges against police officer Song Lili.

With regard to family, communication, and visits, the labor camp should cease making any excuses, such as not notifying us, and delaying or obstructing our visits. Guarantee the legal rights of the family.

Because Liu's health is extremely bad, because her husband has been sick for a long time, and because her elderly mother has no one to take care of her, Liu Guifu should be released immediately and given her freedom.